Saturday, October 27, 2012

Prenatal Exercise Tips - Prenatal Yoga Tips

Starting a Prenatal Exercise Program

Becoming fit during pregnancy requires safe, regular, sustained, moderate exercise -- now is not the time to embark on a new sport or engage in strenuous workouts. Even if you have never exercised regularly before, you can safely begin a workout program during pregnancy.

The safest and most productive activities during pregnancy (especially for the woman exercising for the first time) are swimming and walking. These exercises are best because they can usually be continued until almost the day of delivery, and they carry little risk of injury that would prevent further exercising. Talk with your doctor about how much exercise you can safely perform. Then all you need before beginning is a sound exercise program and appropriate clothing.

Continuting Your Current Program

Most health care providers agree that if you are already regularly engaged in a sport or an exercise program when you become pregnant, you can continue it during pregnancy. Depending on the activity, you may need to modify, slow down, or change activities due to fatigue in early pregnancy or due to added weight and the normal softening of joint ligaments as your pregnancy advances.

Your body is your best guide and usually responds with pain or fatigue if an activity becomes inappropriate. Pay attention to these signals. Be especially aware of your lower back, hip joints, and pelvis-they are your most vulnerable areas.

General Exercise Guidelines

-Exercise regularly. You can't make up for lost time, and you shouldn't push too hard to catch up. Plan ahead and take this special time for yourself without fail. Make exercise a habit! (Remember The Half- Life of Exercise Theory: When more than two and a half days elapse between exercise sessions for the same muscle group, you lose the benefits of the first exercise session!)

-Stop if you feel pain. Modify your exercise program if necessary or substitute other forms of exercise. Check with your physician before resuming your program, but do so right away -- don't waste precious time.

-Finish eating at least 1 to 11/2 hours before working out. Otherwise, you may experience burping, belching, or abdominal discomfort as a consequence of exercising on a full stomach.

-Drink water before, during, and after your work -- out -- even if you aren't thirsty. It's very important to replace the liquids lost through exertion. Without sufficient fluid, your body becomes slow to react and easily fatigued. And it's best to drink four to eight ounces frequently, rather than taking one long drink.

-Don't go on a calorie-restriction diet during pregnancy. This is very dangerous for your baby. Eat a nutritious, balanced diet.

I strongly suggest you try prenatal yoga! There are so many great benefits! 

Prenatal yoga classes are more popular than ever. When paired with a cardiovascular exercise such as walking, yoga can be an ideal way to stay in shape during your pregnancy. This age-old practice keeps you limber, tones your muscles, and improves your balance and circulation, with little, if any, impact on your joints.

Yoga is also beneficial because it helps you learn to breathe deeply and relax, which will come in handy as you face the physical demands of labor, birth, and motherhood. In fact, one of the first things you learn in a yoga class is how to breathe fully. The breathing technique known as ujjayi requires you to take in air slowly through your nose, filling your lungs, and exhale completely until your stomach compresses.

Learning how to do ujjayi breathing primes you for labor and childbirth by training you to stay calm when you need it most. When you're in pain or afraid, your body produces adrenalin and may produce less oxytocin, a hormone that makes labor progress. A regular yoga practice will help you fight the urge to tighten up when you feel pain, and show you how to relax instead.

First-trimester yoga tips

Seek out an instructor who is specifically trained in prenatal yoga, but if that's not possible, make sure your instructor knows you're expecting, says Denise. You probably don't have many restrictions this early in your pregnancy, but remember to follow rules of safe pregnancy exercise such as drinking lots of water before, during, and after exercising to keep your body hydrated. 

Breathe deeply and regularly as you stretch. If you're a pro at yoga, recognize and accept that your regular routine will require modifications as time goes on. 

"Listen to your body and trust what it tells you," says Denise. If you're feeling pain or discomfort, make an adjustment or ask your instructor to recommend an alternative position.

Second-trimester yoga tips

Your joints are beginning to loosen up now, so proceed with caution. Be aware, too, that your slowly expanding girth will affect your sense of balance. Don't try to hold poses for a long time, and remember to sink into yoga positions slowly and carefully to avoid injury. Take your time and don't overdo it. Avoid lying flat on your back now, too, to keep blood flowing properly to your uterus.

Third-trimester yoga tips

You're probably feeling less graceful now that your belly is bigger, so perform standing poses with your heel to the wall or use a chair for support to avoid losing your balance and risking injury to yourself or your baby. Props such as blocks and straps can also help you move through different poses with greater stability. 
And remember: Don't hold poses for a long time; it's important to keep moving.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

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